John SlaughterThe Sole Society, a Family History Society researching Sole, Saul, Sewell, Solley and similar names

SAUL Co-ordinator's Report December 2012

by John Slaughter



In my report in the August 2012 journal I mentioned the genealogy of member Annette Mullen, she has now obtained the certificates she required to which have confirmed the assumed links.


Colin Epton who is researching the village of Brothertoft in Lincolnshire wrote:


‘I am interested in any information you may have regarding the Saul Family of Brothertoft and Boston in Lincolnshire. I have so far found the following:


John Saul, Husbandman, married to Jane, buried at Brothertoft in 1710. His son, Thomas Saul, born 1695 at Brothertoft, married to Ruth. Thomas seems to have been hard working and ambitious. He is mentioned in a Victorian book, Marratt’s History of the Fens of South Lincolnshire as having ‘made a fortune from feathers, wool and fish’ Marratt also claims that he built Brothertoft Hall.


He was also active in the Baptist Church in Boston. Adam Taylor in  The History of the English General Baptists describes his ‘liberality to the poor’ and states that he provided the money for a new Baptist meeting house in Boston, laying the foundation stone just before he died in 1763.


He had a funeral at Boston, but was buried at Brothertoft. The Parish Register entry for his death states ‘Mr Thomas Saul was buried. He was a good man. It is a pity he shall have been forgotten’.

His son John, saw to it that his father’s chapel was completed and donated the building to the church. John died in 1779 and also had a funeral in Boston but was buried at Brothertoft. His age at death was said to be 60. His date of birth was either 1719, working back from 1779, or 1724, according to the Brothertoft Parish Register.


And that is all I can find on them. There are no Sauls mentioned in the Brothertoft PRs before 1695. The register has an unfortunate gap between 1710 & 1722, just at the time when Thomas would have been marrying and having children. Apart from John’s birth and death, there’s nothing further. There are Saul families in Boston and Sibsey at the same period, but I cannot find a connection.’

In response I was able to point Colin in the direction of a couple of wills. According to an index of the Lincoln Consistory Court both Thomas Saul who died in 1763 and John Saul who died in 1779 left wills. Both were described as Gentleman of Boston.


In a follow up Colin comments that Marratt’s claim that Thomas built Brothertoft Hall is interesting as other sources state that it was built in the 1780’s by Major John Cartwright, English Heritage also gives the date as about 1780. The only contemporary source, however has Cartwright refurbishing and extending an existing building. Its a difficult building to view, a long way back from the road and screened by trees, but as far as Colin can tell it seems to have been built in at least  distinct phases. Perhaps Thomas’ will might shed some light on it.


Leanne Sawle posted a message on our Forum trying to find out what happened to her great-grandfather, Ernest Sawle of Beacon/Camborne, Cornwall. Ernest married Lillian Marion Richards in 1905 and they had two known children; Ernest Henry Howard Sawle (her grandfather) and Reginald Bennett Sawle. Ernest Henry Howard Sawle was told by the family who brought him and Reginald up that his father had died in a mining accident aged 26, and that Lillian abandoned the boys. Leanne could not find a death certificate for Ernest Sawle.


I found Lillian and the two boys on the 1911 census at Rosewarne Road, Camborne, where Lillian Marian was described as a widow. Looking at the GRO death indexes produced an Ernest Saull, aged 27 years, in the first quarter of 1909, Redruth Registration District. Interestingly I also found in the GRO birth indexes several Sawle births post 1911 where the mother’s maiden name was given as Richards. Leanne’s research suggests that these children may be half siblings. The last two siblings were given the middle name of Stenton and one source reports that Lillian was the common law wife of James Stenton of Portsmouth. 


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